In a small hospital in Thailand, a woman named Gift was losing hope as she stood beside her husband’s bed in the cancer ward. He was dying. The couple had two young children and she didn’t know what would happen if he didn’t recover.

In Vancouver, a church team was preparing for a short-term mission trip to Thailand. They had recently been told that their missionary hosts, our long-term workers, were praying for an open door to visit people and share the Gospel at a local hospital. After arriving in Thailand, the team was taken to the hospital where they hoped to visit HIV patients who were waiting for their medication. Our workers knew that one of the nurses on that ward was a Christian, so they expected that she would be able to get permission for them. But the nurse was not able to grant them access to the HIV ward. Both the workers and the team were disappointed. But they persisted and asked if there were others that they could visit. Surprisingly, they were given permission to visit patients on the cancer ward.

The team from Vancouver visited many people in the hospital. Through translators, they told Bible stories and shared their testimonies about how they had found hope and healing in a relationship with Jesus.

One of the local believers who accompanied the team that day was a young woman named Koi. With some of the team members, she walked into the room on the cancer ward where Gift was standing beside her husband’s bed. Koi introduced herself to Gift; she could feel the weight of their desperation. As Koi shared the Gospel, Gift paid close attention to the message of hope in Jesus.

In the days that followed, Koi and others from the local church continued to visit this young couple in the hospital. Eventually, both Gift and her husband decided to put their trust in Jesus. The church community gathered around this family and prayed fervently, asking God for the physical healing of this young husband and father. But within a few short weeks, Gift’s husband passed away.

Suddenly, Gift was alone – what she feared had now become a reality. What would she do as a single mother of two small children?

She knew that she didn’t have immediate family that she could rely on. In desperation, she turned to her husband’s family and asked if they would look after her youngest child, at least temporarily. Then she took her three-year-old daughter and boarded a bus headed for Chachoengsao, to find her new family: her brothers and sisters in Christ at Koi’s church. There, Gift was welcomed and cared for. Quickly, the church family made some arrangements and connected her to the Abundant Life Home (ALH) in Chonburi, where she was provided with a home, a job, and an opportunity to begin attending church and growing in her relationship with Jesus.

Soon after she settled into her new home at ALH, Gift went back to her husband’s family and picked up her youngest child, so the family of three could be reunited. I know that Gift’s story is not over. She is still facing many difficult decisions. I know that our workers and the local church in Thailand will do everything they can for this young family. Please join me in praying for Gift and her children.

Despite her desperate situation, my heart is full of hope for people like Gift. Her story reminds me not only that God loves those who are suffering but that he is using his Church – he is using us – to be his hands and feet. God used a church team from Vancouver to walk through an open door at a hospital in Thailand and bring the light of Christ to people in need. God used the global workers who were hosting that team to pray and make the necessary connections. God used Koi, a local believer, to proclaim the hope of the Gospel to a young couple in despair. Then God used Koi’s church community and the broader church family to provide support and care for a young family that was grieving the loss of their father and husband.

This is the heart of our work around the world – seeing local churches empowered to proclaim the Gospel and mobilized to reach out in love to those in need. Would you join us in this mission?

We are actively involved in sending both long-term and short-term workers around the world to support church-planting movements. We are more committed than ever to seeing local churches everywhere engaged in God’s mission.

Would you consider supporting MB Mission financially, so that people like Gift and her late husband could hear the Gospel and be welcomed into the family of God? Your gift will help to support local churches in least-reached regions of the world. Whether you give $100 or $1000, your contribution will bring important resourcing to those who are directly involved in God’s mission among the nations.

In this Christmas season, remember a woman named Gift in Thailand – the hope she found in Jesus and the love she found in his Church. Think about the gift that each of us has received from God in Christ, and be inspired to give generously to others.

For the glory of Christ and his Church,

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Randy Friesen
General Director